Jay-Z Album - Reasonable Doubt
|Album Information :|
Review - Product Description :
Jay-Z, Reazonable Doubt, back by popular demand, classic debut album from arguably The Greatest MC Of All Time. This title has previously scanned 1.4 million units. Jay-Z's classic debut is a compelling reflection on his life as a hustler. It's invested with an uncommon complexity and candor that has noticeably faded in his later material. Armed with clever phrasing and sly deadpan wit, Jay-Z navigates indulgent romp "Can't Knock the Hustle", thought-provoking introspection Regrets, and devastating street-corner soliloquies "Friend or Foe" with savvy composure. The beats on Reasonable Doubt, provided by the likes of DJ Premier & Ski, are as irresistibly slick as his persona. "Brooklyn's Finest," his mic-passing session with his friend Notorious B.I.G., takes on a torch-passing significance in the wake of Biggie's death. That song, and the entire album, foreshadows Jay-Z's subsequent ascension to kingpin status.
Review - Amazon.com :
Jay-Z's classic debut is a compelling reflection on his life as a hustler. It's invested with an uncommon complexity and candor that has noticeably faded in his later material. Armed with clever phrasing and sly deadpan wit, Jay-Z navigates indulgent romps ("Can't Knock the Hustle"), thought-provoking introspection ("Regrets"), and devastating street-corner soliloquies ("Friend or Foe") with savvy composure. The beats on Reasonable Doubt, provided by the likes of DJ Premier & Ski, are as irresistibly slick as his persona. "Brooklyn's Finest," his mic-passing session with his friend Notorious B.I.G., takes on a torch-passing significance in the wake of Biggie's death. That song, and the entire album, foreshadows Jay-Z's subsequent ascension to kingpin status. --Del. F. Cowie
68 of 82 people found the following review helpful:
- CLASSIC Jay-Z, Hip Hop will never be the same
Man, in 1996, hip hop was a different place. My favorite MC at the same (and still is today) Nas was reigning supreme with the release of his EXCELLENT sophomore album "It Was Written." But, little did I know that Jay-Z, at the time a virtual unknown, would drop such an album that would be described as classic in every sense of the word. THIS album is NOTHING like you would find in hip hop today. What's in this is ABSENT from hip hop today: lyrics, originally, true subject matter, consistency. Many artists don't score too big with the first album, but Jay-Z, just like Nas, The Notorious B.I.G., Rakim, among others, scored, and he hit a home run. I could go on and on about this album, but let me just say that it's an awesome experience listening to this. Most cats might've slept on Jigga during 96, but years later, those same cats' eyes bugged with surprise when they heard this for the first time. Before you see my overall opinion on this masterpiece, let's do a little rundown on the Jay-Z albums "post Reasonable Doubt."
In My Lifetime Vol. 1 (4 mics, with the exception of 3 songs, you know what they are if you own this album, this album is excellent, even with the things Jay-Z was going through during the making of the album, otherwise, it's great, and "Streets is Watching," "Imaginary Player", "Friend Or Foe 98", "You Must Love Me" and the album's BEST track "Where I'm From" make this album worthwhile)
Vol.2...Hard Knock Life (3 mics, classic? hell no, the title track, "Nigga What Nigga Who", "Money, Cash, Hoes", and "A Week Ago" are bangers, the rest of the album is boring for the most part and it lost SERIOUS points with me because nearly EVERY song featured another artist)
Vol.3...Life and Times of S.Carter (2 mics, seriously, his most disappointing album, nuff said, preview this album BEFORE purchase)
The Dyansty Roc La Familia (4 mics, excellent album, he mananged to try and make stars out of Beanie, Bleek, and Amil, guess who it worked for, otherwise, he offered some gems on this one, check out "Streets Is Talking", "Stick 2 Da Script", and "Parking Lot Pimping")
The Blueprint (5 mics, released on 9/11/01, the day I bought it, this album is CLASSIC, with one misstep (Jigga That Nigga), he did the majority of SOLO, and made one hell of an album)
MTV Unplugged (Jay-Z LIVE, nuff said)
Blueprint 2...The Gift and The Curse (4 mics, excellent double album from him, with some filler that should not have made the album)
The Black Album (4 and a half mics, IF this is his last one, and I believe it is, what a way to go out)
But back this Reasonable Doubt classic, BUY THIS NOW if you don't own it. It's worth your time and money.
Album Highlights: THE ENTIRE LP except Can I Live II (bonus track), and Ain't No Nigga (jigga rips it but Foxy is unbearable)
45 of 56 people found the following review helpful:
Let me start by saying I'm a white guy, and a not-cool one at that. I've only recently started beefing up my Hip Hop collection, with my last purchase being "Illmatic" by Nas, which is amazing. This album is right there.
The lyricism and poetry imbued in all these tracks is insanely good. "Politics As Usual," "Brooklyn's Finest," and everything else on this disc is the stuff of an ambitious genius. I don't know much, but I know there's no way it got any better for Jay-Z than "Reasonable Doubt."
I've been turned off by the corporate crap that apparently clutters many of his subsequent releases (especially that annoying sample of "It's a Hard Knock Life"....UGH). But "Reasonable Doubt" showcases an ARTIST at the peak of his powers. A lot can be said of ambition, and Jay-Z had it. Let's hope he gets it back.
Until then, sit back, turn up the volume, and let the beats and poetry from this classic debut put it on you, as it did me.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful:
Before Jay-Z was Jay-Z he was Jay-Z. Confused? You should be. Listening to this album and then listening to his later releases will have you wondering what happened. Youll be confused as to why he switced up his music. Was it the money or the fame? Anyway this album is the Instant Classic album from Jay-Z. He has no other classic albums dont be mistaken. This album blows his other efforts outta the water.
Duet with Mary. J. Blige is just so laid back adn effortless( dont confuse with no effort) and tizight. Politics As Usual has tight beat and flow from Jay-Z. As a matter of fact all of the songs have great lyrics and flows from Jay. The beats are street and hardcore while being mellow at the same time. Songs like Brooklyn's Finest, D'evils, Feeling It, Friend Or Foe etc. display these qualities. 22 Two's is the song that shows Jay-Z cleverness and prowess on the mic. Can I Live is GREAT song adn it is a must hear, very introspective. Aint No ..., which samples It's My Thing from EPMD, adn Coming of Age are more classic songs.
My favorite song is Dead President's with its classic Nas sample, haunting beat and superior lyrics.
To Conclude, this album cant even be considered a classic........but a rare masterpiece that can never be duplicated. There are a bunch of classic lp's but how often do you come across a masterpiece? A Must Buy.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
- Masterful, Powerful, and Absolutely Brilliant. Wow.
Jay-Z reveals his true genius in this album. I was hooked on Jay-Z after hearing Volume 1 in a friend's car back in 1997, which is actually an underrated album. I didn't listen to Reasonable Doubt until 2000, and the funny thing is, I didn't realize how great it was until about a year later, after listening to it over and over. The songs are dark and deep. This is a strangely innovative album, because of the production. For example, 22 Two's is nothing I have ever heard before, and overall the piano dominated beats are so different from what you'll usually hear on a hip-hop record. The lyrics are amazing. There are many themes that run throughout the album, including focus, determination, and justice.
In my opinion, the best tracks are: 1) D'evils, 2) Dead Presidents, (Scary beat, and gets me hyped everytime) 3) Brooklyn's Finest, (A legendary duet with Biggie) 4) Can't Knock the Hustle, 5) Can I Live, (the first verse is incredible) 6) 22 Twos, (the first verse is awesome), 7) Coming of Age (the Jay/Bleek exchange is very original and effective).
The reason why D'evils is a classic is because of the message, and because of the marvelous piano loop. The message is that if you wish to be successful in any endeavor, you should be willing to do whatever it takes, including lie. A secondary theme in that song is that friends grow apart due to disparity in success. But what makes that song great is how the message is delivered - the rhymes that he chooses.
If you are a music fan (not necessariy a hip-hop fan, but a music fan), or a lover of language and expression, get this album, now.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
- Reasonable Doubt: The Cinematic Tale of a Street Hustler
Regardless of how much you can love or hate Jay-Z, it's been universally accepted that his masterpiece, his magnum opus, is, and always will be 1996's Reasonable Doubt. On Reasonable Doubt we have a young, charismatic and confident emcee who is blessed with the God-given skills to be unbelievably deep on the microphone, yet spit his lyrics out with the venom and fury of a South American serpent. Please, do not be fooled by the majority of Jay-Z's work. Reasonable Doubt stands head over shoulders above the rest not only for the brilliant lyricism conveyed, as well as the masterful production, but for the underlining depth found within it's fifteen tracks. Reasonable Doubt is an incredibly deep journey through the mind of a rugged young black man, living in the slums of Brooklyn, relying on his skills as a street trader to get him by. Jay-Z paints an vivid picture of this kind of dangerous life, and manages to give us the good, the bad, and the ugly about being a hustler. Each track acts as a different memory and different emotion that he expresses to the listener with his complex and deep lyricism. Hell, listening to Reasonable Doubt is like listening to a black and white mobster film being played inside of your head and narrated by Jay-Z. You see it from HIS point of view, and although you may not agree with it, you are indeed guaranteed to be entertained.
Track List & Rating
1. Can't Knock the Hustle f/ Mary J. Blige (5 Stars)
2. Politics as Usual (4 1/2 Stars)
3. Brooklyn's Finest f/ Notorious B.I.G. (5 Stars)
4. Dead Presidents II (5 Stars)
5. Feelin' It f/ Mecca (5 Stars)
6. D'evils (5 Stars)
7. 22 Two's (5 Stars)
8. Can I Live (5 Stars)
9. Ain't No Nigga f/ Foxy Brown (4 Stars)
10. Friend or Foe (5 Stars)
11. Coming of Age f/ Memphis Bleek (4 1/2 Stars)
12. Cashmere Thoughts (4 Stars)
13. Bring It On f/ Big Jaz & Sauce Money (5 Stars)
14. Regrets (5 Stars)
15. Can I Live II f/ Memphis Bleek (4 Stars)